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House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was million.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative budget is a failure when it comes to health care. Today we learned that almost 20% of hospital beds in Ontario are occupied by patients who cannot find home care or long term care. The result is hallway medicine and the cancellation of life-saving surgery. Here in Ottawa almost 200 patients cannot go home to their families. Why? Because there is no home care available.

Does the government understand that to end hallway medicine and excessive wait times, we must invest in long term care and home care? That is why we will not be voting for the budget.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, in budget 2006 we added $1.1 billion of federal transfers for health care across the country. In budget 2007 there were $1.2 billion extra. In budget 2008 there was another 6% extra.

We have been acting to benefit Canadians and access to the health care system. Now it is up to the provinces to live up to their promises as well.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture should know that before he can legally introduce legislative change to the Canadian Wheat Board Act, he must abide by section 47(1) of the act, which states in part that the minister is required to consult with the board.

On February 29, the Canadian Wheat Board chair stated, “We have not been consulted on this legislation”. That was a few days ago.

Will the minister inform the House as to the date he claims to have consulted with the board on the specific legislative proposal, or is the minister just intent on breaking the law?

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what we are intent on is giving western Canadian farmers barley marketing freedom, and we will get there.

Let me quote for the member for Malpeque what someone said. The person said, “It doesn't matter what politicians or bureaucrats think about grain marketing. What matters is what farmers think and want”. Who said that? It was the member for Wascana.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We are going to hear from another member now. The hon. member for Essex has the floor.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

March 3rd, 2008 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, following a recent speech by the Minister of Industry to the Toronto Board of Trade, a speech I attended, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association of Canada said that the minister “has clearly carved out a positive role for government to support our industry going forward”. The CVMA also stated, “The government's policy is positive and should assist our industry as it transforms, adapts and strengthens in response to unprecedented global challenges”.

Can the Minister of Industry inform this House of what initiatives prompted this support from Canada's auto manufacturers?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, former gas-guzzling Liberal governments really failed to do what needed to be done for the automotive industry. Fortunately we have excellent members, such as the member for Essex, who have fought for the industry.

The government is moving forward with strong fundamentals that will make the auto industry competitive. On Friday, as the member has pointed out, I unveiled the government's new automotive strategy, which is built on four pillars: the best business climate anywhere in the G-7, the strongest economic fundamentals; an integrated North American approach to fuel efficiency standards and also to harmonization of other standards; investing in R and D; and finally, a new automotive innovation fund of $250 million.

AfghanistanOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the compromise on Afghanistan, which keeps Canadian troops in Kandahar until 2011, is contingent upon specific obligations.

The Conservative government must shift the Canadian Forces' mission toward the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

It has also committed itself to true transparency and accountability in respect of its citizens and Parliament for the three objectives of the mission. The government knows that the people will demand that these objectives be respected.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. In concrete terms, how can Canadians and MPs be assured that these undertakings will be respected?

AfghanistanOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to answer this question given that the House is currently debating the future of the mission in Afghanistan.

I can assure the hon. member of this House that we will do our utmost to have this vote as soon as possible. When this House has voted, I hope to have the support of NATO countries in terms of the troops and equipment needed to continue the mission.

When that happens, we will certainly inform the House on a regular basis of the action being taken and we will be accountable to this House, as we have been in the past.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of a group of aboriginal and church leaders in Ottawa to launch the “Remembering the Children” tour to prepare Canadians for the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Mr. Georges Erasmus, the President of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation; Mr. Ted Quewezance, Executive Director of the National Residential Schools Survivors' Society; the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, the Right Reverend David Giuliano; the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Reverend Dr. Hans Kouwenberg; the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Diocese of Ottawa, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast; and National Indigenous Bishop for the Anglican Church of Canada, the Right Reverend Mark MacDonald.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Comments by Member for CharlottetownPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker and members of this assembly, on Thursday afternoon last week during time allotted for members' statements, I made a number of comments that were wrong, improper, inappropriate and extremely unparliamentary.

I want to stand in the House today, apologize for my behaviour and retract those remarks.

First, I want to apologize to the House for these remarks, as they were, as I said, improper, wrong and extremely unparliamentary. Since being elected as the member for Charlottetown about seven years ago, I have attempted to conduct myself with dignity and honour, in other words, in a manner that acknowledges and respects the importance and significance of this institution. That certainly was not the case last Thursday afternoon. I deeply regret my actions.

Second, I want to sincerely apologize to the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney and his family. Although the remarks were rhetorical and meant solely as hyperbole, they were highly improper and ought not to have been made. I sincerely apologize to him and his family, and I do hope he accepts my apology.

Third, I want to apologize to my colleague and friend, the member of Parliament for Abbotsford. He had the floor at the time my remarks were made and they should not have been made. I should not have been saying anything at that particular time, let alone what I did say.

Also, I want to apologize to you, Mr. Speaker. You have a difficult job in this highly partisan environment. You do a good job. I did not make your job any easier. I want to apologize for my behaviour.

I also want to apologize to my family, immediate and extended, for any embarrassments caused to them. They have come to expect better of me. On this occasion, I feel that I have let them down.

I could go on and give some reasons or excuses or try to explain to the House what was going on in my mind at that particular moment. I will not, because I feel I would only detract from my apology and retraction. I want my statement to be full, frank, unqualified and without any qualifications whatsoever. In other words, I accept total responsibility for my inappropriate words.

In closing, I repeat that I do apologize for my inappropriate remarks and I do hope that all members of this assembly will accept my apology and retraction.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allotting me the time to address this House.

Comments by Member for CharlottetownPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Charlottetown for his retraction. I note that this matter was raised by the hon. member for Abbotsford last week. I believe that therefore completes the problem.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Today, during oral question period, when the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages was answering questions, we clearly heard the leader of the Bloc Québécois use some very insulting language in reference to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages.

I therefore ask the leader of the Bloc Québécois to withdraw his comments.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

I withdraw what I said, which was not parliamentary language. Even though the response may have been insipid, that is not what I said.

I withdraw what I said about the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, before oral question period, I made a member's statement. I would therefore like to table a document I referred to in my statement.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yes.

No.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

In my opinion, you do not have unanimous consent.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

I understand why the Bloc Québécois members might be a bit embarrassed after working here for 18 years.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It is too bad, but if the House does not grant unanimous consent, that is the end of that request.

National Defence ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-45, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canadian Wheat Board ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-46, An Act to amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act and chapter 17 of the Statutes of Canada, 1998.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canadian Wheat Board ActRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You accepted the introduction of a government bill to amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act that is clearly illegal. We know that the minister, in an answer during question period, said that he was going to do this, but section 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act is very clear in terms of what is required prior to a bill being brought into the House by the government.

The section is unique. It says that the minister cannot do what he is trying to do, that is, introduce legislation to diminish the Canadian Wheat Board single desk unless and until two conditions are fulfilled.

First, the minister must consult the Canadian Wheat Board's board of directors. The directors say that has not happened and they said that as recently as Saturday.

Second, the minister must hold vote among prairie grain producers about the specific legislative change the minister wants to propose. That vote has not happened.

The minister cannot say that his barley vote of a year ago satisfies that requirement. There was no voters list. There was only a fraction of eligible producers who voted. The ballots were marked and traceable. Three general options were raised and they were counted as only two.

More importantly, their questions might have been a multiple choice survey of general marketing philosophy, but they were most definitely not the specific and focused questions required by section 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act.

If the minister is allowed to introduce this barley bill, he will break the law. The act is clear. The Speaker must be satisfied, it seems to me, that section 47.1 has been fulfilled before this bill can be legally introduced. Again I say, the act is very clear. The minister therefore should not be allowed to proceed at this time, because in doing so he is breaking the very law that he took an oath of office to uphold.